If you are a parent who also takes care of your parent, you could be nervous about how this school year will affect your schedules. Kids may be in the classroom or distance learning, and there can be activities starting up or coming to an end, which can complicate your daily responsibilities and availability.
The impending changes can seem daunting for anyone in the so-called sandwich generation. However, there are tips to make this transition easier.
- Work out the schedule ahead of time. Start mapping out your days now to identify any conflicts and make adjustments. If you have a spouse or parenting partner, make sure you know who will be responsible for the various tasks, including helping kids with schoolwork, driving a parent to and from a doctor’s appointment and attending any games or performances your child may have. Think about transportation as well as the time commitment that may go along with each activity.
- Utilize support resources. Whether your parent lives with you or nearby, you may need to reach out for help from others. Look into transportation services, food delivery programs, and possibly cleaning companies to help you manage these tasks. Getting help in these areas can allow you more time to spend with your parent and children.
- Consider ways to provide simultaneous care. Being with your child and parent at the same time can be helpful. Perhaps your parent can help the kids with schoolwork while you get housework or other work done. You could bring your parent with you to a child’s activity or have your kids along when you spend time with your parent.
- Explore alternate care arrangements. You may come to realize that it is simply not feasible to continue caring for everyone. Under these circumstances, you may need to rethink your situation and consider making a change. Alternatives like adult day care can provide valuable temporary or short-term help, while nursing homes and assisted living facilities can serve as a more comprehensive and long-term solution.
- Take care of yourself. Being a caregiver to children and parents takes an incredible physical and mental toll on a person. Try to prioritize your sleep, a healthy diet and time to practice self-care so that you do not get burned out.
Seasonal adjustments can be difficult, but with these tips, it can be less stressful for everyone.